Iced Caramel Macchiato: Easy Starbucks Inspired Recipe 2024

Craving an Iced Caramel Macchiato? You’re in the right spot. Imagine sipping on a cool, creamy blend of espresso, milk, vanilla, and caramel. It’s not just a drink; it’s a moment of bliss.

With a few simple steps, you can craft this beloved Starbucks classic at home. Whether you’re a seasoned barista or a coffee enthusiast, our straightforward approach will have you enjoying your homemade masterpiece in no time.

Let’s get started and turn your kitchen into the best coffee spot in town.

About the Iced Caramel Macchiato

An Iced Caramel Macchiato is a delightful and refreshing coffee beverage that combines the boldness of espresso with the creamy sweetness of milk and flavored syrups. Traditionally, caramel macchiato is layered, which means you get to enjoy distinct layers of flavor as you sip.


  • Espresso
  • Vanilla syrup
  • Milk (2% or whole)
  • Caramel sauce
  • Ice

Making Your Drink:

Start with a glass of ice and pour in a generous amount of vanilla syrup for that sweet, fragrant flavor. Fill the glass with your choice of milk, leaving room for the rich espresso. For an authentic taste, use a quality espresso roast.

Espresso to Milk Ratio
1 shot to 1 cup

A traditional iced caramel macchiato is topped with a drizzle of caramel sauce, creating a visually appealing and mouth-watering coffee treat. As for the caffeine content, it’s typically in line with a standard cup of espresso-based drink, giving you a pleasant pick-me-up.

Remember, while an iced coffee is simply coffee served over ice, a latte typically involves a higher volume of milk in comparison to the espresso. Your iced caramel macchiato cleverly combines these concepts but introduces vanilla and caramel for a unique and irresistible flavor profile. Enjoy crafting this delightful concoction!

Ingredients and Substitutes

Creating the perfect Iced Caramel Macchiato involves using core ingredients which can be customized according to your taste preferences or dietary needs. There are a variety of substitutes available for milk, sweeteners, and even espresso to make your beverage just the way you like it.

Core Ingredients

  • Espresso: The foundation of any macchiato, get a robust shot from an espresso machine or combine 1oz. hot water with 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder.
  • Caramel Sauce: Use store-bought or homemade sauce to add that classic sweet, buttery flavor.
  • Vanilla Syrup: Infuse the drink with sweet vanilla essence; adjust according to your desired sweetness.

Milk Varieties

Type of MilkDescription
Whole MilkProvides creaminess and rich flavor.
2% MilkLighter than whole milk with a reduced fat content.
Skim MilkLowest in fat, offering a thinner consistency.
  • Note: Adjust the type of milk to achieve your preferred taste and texture.

Sweeteners and Flavors

  • Sugar: Add according to taste if extra sweetness is needed beyond the caramel and vanilla.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla syrup not only sweetens but also enhances the drink with its flavor, doubling as both sweetener and flavoring.

Dairy-Free Alternatives

Dairy-Free OptionDescription
Almond MilkNutty flavor profile; lighter in texture than cow’s milk.
Oat MilkCreamier texture, slightly sweet and often considered eco-friendlier.
Soy MilkProtein-rich and has a taste similar to whole milk.
  • Using dairy-free milk can change the flavor profile of your Iced Caramel Macchiato, so choose based on personal flavor preference and dietary restrictions.

Brewing the Perfect Espresso

Crafting a flawless cup of espresso is the cornerstone of a great Iced Caramel Macchiato. You’ll want to ensure your espresso is robust and rich to complement the sweet flavors of caramel and vanilla in your drink.

Espresso Basics

To brew espresso, you’ll need finely ground coffee beans. Choosing a high-quality espresso roast, like Starbucks® Espresso Roast, ensures a bold and flavorful base. Remember that one shot of espresso typically equals 1 ounce, so measure your beans accordingly. For the Pied Piper of coffee, the espresso machine, you’ll need:

  • Espresso machine: This is your key tool for authentic espresso extraction.
  • Espresso beans: Your flavor foundation; Starbucks® Espresso Roast is a common choice.
  • Grinder: A burr grinder is ideal for achieving the fine, consistent grounds necessary for espresso.

Your espresso machine might take a few minutes to warm up, so ensure it reaches the proper temperature before pulling your shot to get that perfect crema top.

Nespresso and Alternatives

If you don’t have an espresso machine, a Nespresso machine provides a convenient alternative. You can use capsules like Starbucks® Single-Origin Colombia or any espresso-blend capsules. Insert your chosen capsule, ensure there’s water in the tank, and press the button for an espresso shot.

For those without Nespresso, here’s a simple alternative:

  • Espresso pods: Compatible with Nespresso machines and a variety of blends available.
  • Third-party capsules: Can be more cost-effective and offer different espresso roast options like Pike Place.

Instant and Cold Brew Options

In a pinch, you can use instant espresso powder. Mix 1 teaspoon with 1 ounce of hot water to make a shot equivalent. Cold brew concentrate is a less traditional but viable option that you can find in stores or make at home. It’s less acidic and has a smoother taste, which can balance the sweet caramel and vanilla well.

To use cold brew concentrate in place of espresso:

  • Concentrate: Use a stronger dilution ratio for intensity.
  • Cold brew coffee beans: Coarsely ground and steeped for 12-24 hours.

Remember that these methods won’t provide the same flavor profile or crema as traditional espresso, but they do offer a unique spin on your Iced Caramel Macchiato.

Assembling Iced Caramel Macchiato

Creating your Iced Caramel Macchiato combines the coolness of ice, the creaminess of cold milk, and the sweetness of caramel and vanilla syrup for a refreshing coffee treat. It’s about constructing layers that meld harmoniously in flavor and contrast in texture.

Layering Techniques

Begin with a glass and add caramel sauce generously at the bottom. Next, pour in ice cubes to the top of the glass. Slowly add your cold milk over the ice. For the coffee, pour three shots of fresh espresso or a similar amount of strong coffee concentrate over the milk. The key is to pour it gently and aim for the center to maintain distinct layers. If you prefer a Starbucks copycat ‘upside down’ version, reverse the order by starting with the espresso and then adding the milk.

  • Caramel sauce: line the bottom and sides of the glass.
  • Ice cubes: fill the glass.
  • Cold milk: pour over the ice until nearly full.
  • Espresso or coffee concentrate: carefully to maintain layers.

Adding the Signature Caramel

Finish your macchiato with a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce or store-bought if you’re short on time. Drizzle the caramel over the top of your drink in a circular motion for a beautiful and professional appearance. Be generous with the caramel; it should create a sweet finishing touch that seeps through the layers when stirred.

  • Homemade or store-bought caramel sauce: a generous drizzle on top.

Customizing Your Beverage

Crafting the perfect Iced Caramel Macchiato to suit your taste buds is all about personal preference. Whether you’re looking to adjust the size and strength or experiment with different flavors, you can make this Starbucks copycat recipe your own.

Size and Strength Adjustments

Servings: You can choose from the classic Starbucks sizes – tall (12 ounces), grande (16 ounces), and venti (24 ounces). Your choice will determine the amount of each ingredient:

  • Tall: 2 pumps of vanilla syrup, 1 shot of espresso
  • Grande: 3 pumps of vanilla syrup, 2 shots of espresso
  • Venti: 4 pumps of vanilla syrup, 2 shots of espresso
  • For a stronger coffee flavor, consider adding an extra shot, making it a double or triple.

Flavor Variations

Vanilla is the classic flavor for an Iced Caramel Macchiato, but why not mix it up?

  • Seasonal Flavors: For a fall twist, swap in pumpkin spice sauce instead of caramel for a Pumpkin Spice Latte vibe.
  • Milk Options: Regular milk can be replaced with non-fat, almond, or cashew for a different taste or dietary preference.
  • Whipped Cream: Add a dollop of whipped cream for a luxurious finish on any size beverage.
  • Iced Latte Conversion: Remove the caramel drizzle and switch from vanilla syrup to another flavor, such as hazelnut, for a completely different iced latte experience.

Nutritional Information

When you whip up an Iced Caramel Macchiato at home, your drink’s nutritional profile will vary based on the exact ingredients you use. Here’s what you might typically expect in terms of nutrition for a standard-sized serving:

  • Calories: Expect around 200-250 calories for a 16-ounce serving if you’re using 2% milk and regular syrups.
  • Total Fat: Approximately 3-5 grams, with saturated fat constituting about 1.5-2 grams of this amount.
  • Cholesterol: Varies, but around 10-15 milligrams can be typical with dairy milk.
  • Sodium: This could range from 100-150 milligrams.
  • Total Carbohydrate: Around 30-35 grams, largely from the vanilla syrup and caramel.
  • Dietary Fiber: Generally negligible in this beverage.
  • Total Sugars: Expect high sugar content, often 20-25 grams due to the syrups.

For additional nutrients:

  • Protein: Dairy milk offers about 6-8 grams of protein.
  • Calcium: A good source from milk, providing about 20-30% of your daily value.
  • Iron, Potassium, Vitamin C: Minimal in traditional recipes but can vary if you choose different milks or add-ons.

If you’d like to reduce the calorie and sugar content, consider alternatives like skim milk, almond milk, or sugar-free syrups. Keep in mind that changing ingredients will also affect the taste and texture of your Iced Caramel Macchiato.

Remember, these values are approximate and can vary based on the size of the drink and the specific ingredients used. Always check labels for the most accurate information.

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